KBA: new ideas, new concepts, new alliances

Würzburg, (PresseBox) - IFRA Expo in Vienna will see Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) and New Delhi-based Indian press manufacturer The Printers House (TPH) sharing a stand (no. 610 in hall B) for the first time since the two companies entered a strategic alliance earlier this year. TPH will promote, sell and distribute KBA web presses on the Indian subcontinent while KBA will follow suit with TPH's single-wide Orient presses in the rest of the world.

One new launch KBA is unveiling jointly with the Beil Group is an automated plate logistics system for the compact waterless Cortina and conventional Commander CT. Developed in alliance with a future Cortina user, KBA PlateTrans links ctp pre-press to press, and represents a further automation module for boosting productivity and cost efficiency in high-end newspaper production.

The need for greater flexibility to meet whatever challenges the future may hold is prompting ever more media houses and contract printers, both in Europe and further afield, to go for compact, highly automated press lines. Transcontinental Inc. in Montreal, Canada, recently ordered four Commander CT 6/2 presses - a total of sixteen towers, four single and two double folders plus six thermal air dryers to support coldset, heatset and hybrid production - for its Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary production plants. The thirteenth and biggest Cortina to date, with a capacity of 160,000cph, will soon go live at major French newspaper Le Figaro (daily circulation 480,000 copies).

While the market tends to focus on KBA's unique compact presses, KBA continues to pursue advances in its conventional newspaper technology. In March this year Ciner Printing in Turkey flicked the switch on five Commander 4/1 presses, some with a heatset capability, which now print a new 80pp broadsheet title, Habaturk (daily circulation 300,000 copies), in a semi-commercial style and quality. A new KBA Continent hybrid press comprising ten four-high towers, two thermal air dryers, sixteen reelstands and three folders was installed for a similar purpose at United Printing & Publishing (UPP) in Abu Dhabi. The installation of several KBA Prisma 4/1 presses at DNA in India passed almost unnoticed, as did orders from German newspaper printers for conventional tower and satellite configurations of KBA Colora and Commander presses. So despite the current recession and the ongoing crisis in the newspaper industry there is evidence that some market players are bucking the trend, and KBA is usually in the midst of the action.

Further details will be available at KBA's Ifra Expo press conference scheduled for 1.30pm on 12 October in room Schubert 4 at the Vienna Congress Centre.

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